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Congress Election Result: Mallikarjun Kharge Becomes First Non-Gandhi President In Two Decades

The results came out minutes after Rahul Gandhi in a slip of tongue mentions his name as the President. 

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Mallikarjun Kharge in Chennai
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Ending all the speculations, former Rajya Sabha leader of the opposition Mallikarjun Kharge has won the Congress Presidential Elections. The senior leader will be first in the last two decades from a Non-Gandhi background to hold the post. 

Last time any Non-Gandhi President ruled the party was Shitaram Keshari who was replaced by Sonia Gandhi in 1997.

Kharge has got 90% of the votes cast on October 17. While the President's vote count stands at 7897, Tharoor got 1082 votes. 

Minutes before the results of the presidential election of the Congress was about to come, Rahul Gandhi in a slip took name of Mallikarjun Kharge as the new president of the party. On being asked what will be his role in the party, Rahul says, "Ask Kharge Ji'. Then he adds that "I will report to the Congress President." 

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While it has been talked about several times that Kharge has been the official candidate of the party, earlier such slips didn't happen. 

As the elections results came out Kharge's opponent Shashi Tharoor shared his statement in Twitter. Congratulating Kharge over his victory, he said, "It is a great honour & a huge responsibility to be President of @INCIndia & @Kharge ji all success in that task. It was a privilege to have received the support of over a thousand colleagues,& to carry the hopes& aspirations of so many well-wishers of Congress across India." 

Tharoor's Allegations over Irregularities in Polls

Earlier, the the day Shashi Tharoor alleged ‘extremely serious irregularities’ in the election from Uttar Pradesh.

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Tharoor who is considered to be the less-favourite candidate since the emergence of Mallikarjun Kharge as the choice of Gandhis said that there were disturbing facts in the elections from Uttar Pradesh and sought that the electorates of the state be cancelled.

Notably, among more than 9500 voters, around 1200 represents the largest state of the country.

As the counting were going on, Tharoor said, “We did not contest this election to accept business as usual.”

Salman Soz, the election agent of the Kerala MP said, “We've been in constant communication with Madhusudan Mistry's office, informed them about many different issues, cannot get into its specifics right now.”

In his letter to Madhusudan Mistry, the Chief electoral officer for the election, Tharoor notes, “Our campaign wants to bring to your attention extremely serious irregularities in the conduct of the election in the state of Uttar Pradesh. As you will see, the facts are damning and the election process in UP is devoid of credibility and integrity.”

Absolving his opponent Mallikarjun Kharge of any responsibility and knowledge of such malpractice, team Tharoor adds, “We would like to underline that we have no evidence that Mallikarjun Kharge ji was aware of how his supporters were engaging in electoral malpractice in Uttar Pradesh. We are certain that if he were aware, he would never allow what happened in Uttar Pradesh. He would not allow the tainting of an election that is so important for the Indian National Congress.”

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The objections noted problems like “unofficial seals for ballot boxes, presence of unofficial people in polling booths and voting malpractice,” reported the NDTV.

“We do not see how this election can be deemed free and fair if the tainted process of Uttar Pradesh is allowed to stand. We therefore demand that all votes from Uttar Pradesh be deemed invalid,” the letter added.

However, ruling out any such allegations, Jairam Ramesh, the party's General Secretary-in-Charge of Communications told NDTV, "These (allegations) are all used by critics... Two competent individuals are competing... Every effort is being made to keep it a free, fair polls.”

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